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  1. #1
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    Question Do You Pre-Heat Your French Press?

    I never really thought about this until the last few days...I don't pour hot water into my french press before brewing in it. This means that the coffee is likely steeping at a much lower temperature than what is expected. Has anyone switched and noticed a much better cup of coffee?

  2. #2
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    Yes. I pre-heat any pot I'm using. No doubt it keeps the coffee hotter. I even pre-heat my coffee mug.
    Last edited by janry; 02-03-2014 at 07:52 AM.

  3. #3
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    I pre heat mine. We have an Insinkerator (near boiling on demand hot water instantly at the kitchen sink) That makes it easy to pre heat the press while heating the water for brewing. I also fill my coffee mug with hot water while the coffee steeps.

    If I'm using my k-cup machine, I fill it with cold water, then pre heat the mug before brewing, same on the espresso machine. Did it when all I had was a percolator too so just habit for me.

  4. #4
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    The best temp to brew your coffee is about 195-205.
    Therefore, when I get my coffee in my mug, its really really hot.
    I don't feel like I need to heat up my french press or mug because that reason.
    But thats me. If you think you get better cup by pre-heating your cup or press, that would be your choice and nothing wrong with it....

  5. #5
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    Lazy me. I always plan on doing it but seldom do. Of course we go through a couple of morning pots so fast it doesn't matter. After that I've got three different sized presses and just use the one that works for the occasion. In the afternoon I use the 'personal pot press' and no worries about heat loss.
    Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by janry View Post
    Yes. I pre-heat any pot I'm using. No doubt it keeps the coffee hotter. I even pre-heat my coffee mug.
    I pre-heat the pot, but not the mug. It used to just be my girlfriend who did it and I thought she was just being pernickety. But as it was always her who made the coffee thats how we had it. When I started preparing the coffee I didn't bother heating up the pot and actually, to my surprise, found the coffee cooler, and with a slight bitterness.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noir View Post
    I pre-heat the pot, but not the mug. It used to just be my girlfriend who did it and I thought she was just being pernickety. But as it was always her who made the coffee thats how we had it. When I started preparing the coffee I didn't bother heating up the pot and actually, to my surprise, found the coffee cooler, and with a slight bitterness.
    Interesting.... I never heat my french press but never really had any bitterness in my coffee. Also, I don't know what size you are using but my 5 cup size do not really cool my coffee down. It make sense to pour hot tap water to heat up your french press but I never really thought I needed to do that.

  8. #8
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    I did some temp measurements a while back, which lead me to begin preheating my press pot beaker. Even starting w/ 205* water, the glass and coffee grounds are enough of a heat sink that by the end of a 3min. steep time it had dropped to ~180*. For a while I was using a self-made cozy around the beaker so that the steep temp stayed higher.

    It may be sacrilegious, but the old 195-205 IMNSHO is a guideline that should be taken w/ a grain of salt. IOW, coffee can be brewed well at somewhat cooler temps, and the main guideline should be how you like it. We are free to experiment and create our own rules; if you happen to think your coffee is fine brewed in a 185-195 temp range and you have tried it at various temps, then you are doing it correctly.

  9. #9
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    I think to get best coffee, it should be brewed at 190-205. If it dips down under 190, it won't be as effective for brewing temperature. When I pour my coffee into my french press, i wait until my water stop bubbling. And in winter time, i wouldn't wait too much longer to pour the water over my french press. I never really measure the temperature at that point but I would suspect around 205-210. I would wait around few mins for brewing and drink when coffee is cooled off to about 180 or little below. its just way too hot to drink at 190 or above.

    CJ

  10. #10
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    This is going to be a wall of text, but I love talking about brew method so....

    The way I was taught to make a french press at AnaCafe (SCAA of Guatemala), completely changed the way I made it.
    Like any method it is all about 1) Ratio of coffee to beans 2) Proper brewing method 3) the right grind and 4) good water quality

    The steps:
    Obviously you have your standard equipment- a scale and stopwatch being the most important thing. Remember, around 10g of coffee (2 tbs) per 180ml(6oz) of water. Don't use hard water, you'll ruin your nice coffee.
    Heat up your brew method, this is very important because the water temperature will rapidly cool if you don't heat your press, and if this will cause you to have an under extraction. What I was taught to do is boil water, use this to heat up my method, and let the water sit until it reaches somewhere between 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is 90- 96 Centigrade for those who don't live in the US.
    Nice little trick- A nice way of knowing when the water is going to be the right temperature is by waiting until you can see one or two small bubbles rising from the bottom of your pot, that puts your water at above 190, but lower than 205 every time.
    Then you add your coffee. I was taught to dry my press after I heated up my press, but I am far too lazy to do this every time. It does make a small difference, though. If you add your grounds to a bit of water those beans will begin extraction at a lower temperature.. but I view this step for perfectionists only.

    So you add your 6oz of water per 10g of coffee into your press. It's the right temperature, the right grind, and the right ratio. 4-6 minutes and you're done, right? Nope!

    It's time to take your french press to the next level.

    Let the grounds sit in the water for a minute. Then, take a spoon and stir the entire contents of the press five times in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). Don't get too crazy with the stirring. Just five simple swirls. Let that settle, wait a minute, and you'll see the coffee has a thick brown foam layer to it. Take a spoon and remove as much of this foam as possible. This will make your french press cup so much cleaner. The difference that this makes is absolutely incredible.

    So now, plunge down evenly and ENJOY! The perfect French Press has been made. Don't let it sit too long in the press as the beans will over extract.

    Cheers!

 

 
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